19 11 '17 - 18:00
Ben Sohib was born in Jember, East Java, in 1967. He attended journalism classes but then spent most of his time as a vocalist in a progressive rock band at the end of the 1980s and in the early 1990s.
Ben began to be known by Indonesian readers as a result of his two-part novel The Da Peci Code, published in 2006, and Rosid dan Delia [Rosid and Delia, 2008], both of which became best-sellers. Filled with a freshness of humor against a backdrop of life among the descendants of “Betawi” Arabs, that is, Arabs who had in times past settled in Jakarta, these two novels are a campaign for multiculturalism in modern Indonesian life.
Since then, Ben has mostly been writing short stories. Still using the backdrop of the urban life of Muslims, particularly in Jakarta, he has launched fierce criticism against the symptoms of religious radicalism that have become increasingly worrisome in Indonesia over the past several years. He also admonishes people who lightly use religious arguments to find justification for what they do. Ben’s fierce criticism is always delivered in a joking way, so that he deserves to be called one of Indonesia’s top writers in the dark humor vein.
Discover his texts in English here